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Celebrating 240 years since 1776, adapted in part from Stories of Faith & Courage from the Revolutionary War (AMG)

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July 1776

July 2, 1776
After the Continental Congress approves the resolution or motion--not the written declaration--for independence, John Adams makes a close but not quite accurate prediction: 

“The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival . . . It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

July 4, 1776
The Continental Congress issues the Declaration of Independence.

“The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America. . .”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. . .”

“That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved. . .”

The subject of the declaration's grievances, King George III had a “history of repeated injuries and usurpations” and “kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature” and was a tyrant for “cutting off our trade with all parts of the world: For imposing taxes on us without our consent.” 

He took away “our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments.” 

July 8, 1776
The Liberty Bell rings for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia.

July 9, 1776
Washington orders the reading of the Declaration of Independence to his troops. Some melt the statue of King George III and turn the result into musket balls. “Monarchy seems to be generally exploded,” Samuel Adams soon declares.

Revolutionary Protection. first photo by Ken Shultz,
(First photo by Ken Shultz,

July 13, 1776 
Henry Knox is anguished at the danger in New York and asks his young wife Lucy to take refuge in the countryside. “I am not at liberty to attend her, as my country calls loudest. My God, may I never experience the like feelings again!”

July 14, 1776
Lord Howe sends George Washington a letter but fails to address him as “Your Excellency,” the common title for the leader of an army. Instead Howe addresses him as “George Washington, esquire,” the name for a private citizen. An insulted Washington refuses the letter and concludes that the British aren’t serious about granting independence to the colonies.

July 18, 1776
The Declaration of Independence is read at the Boston State House for the first time.

July 20, 1776 
British Colonel Patterson offers George Washington an apology for a previous insults and a pardon from General Howe.

Washington responds “that those who had committed no fault, wanted no pardon; and that the Americans were only defending what they deemed their indubitable rights.”

July 27, 1776
“People I am told, recognize the resolution [of independence] as though it were a decree promulgated from Heaven,” Samuel Adams writes to a friend.

Celebrating 240 years since 1776, adapted in part from Stories of Faith & Courage from the Revolutionary War (AMG)

JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune  |  JulyAugustSeptember  |  October  |  November  |  December

Jane Hampton Cook's TV segments relating to the American Revolution

How past presidents rallied in the face of adversity Threats of terrorism loomed large over Independence Day in 2015. How did past presidents such as James Madison handle threats? Jane reveals the subject of her upcoming book as she discusses this topic with Uma Pemmaraju on the Fox News Channel.

Jane puts AMC's Turn into "Context"